The SS Empire Windrush carried immigrants to England for the first time in 1948. Its route was from Caribbean islands to Tilbury. The ship was originally built in 1930 and named the Monte Rosa. She had many uses during the II World War, including accommodation and troop ship for the Germans.

In 1954, the SS Empire Windrush experienced its last voyage. On a route from Yokohama to the Mediterranean, a tragic engine fire took place. Attempts were made to tow her to Gibraltar but she sunk.

The SS Empire Windrush has made a big impact on British culture. The 492 people that the Windrush carried to Britain also carried their traditions. For example, fish and chips are a British tradition. However, now, people eat curry and chips together.

Many people came to England, and by 1956 there were over 40,000 immigrants that had come to this country. Year by year, up to 700 West Indians came. This had a great impact on Britain. The population increased whilst many white Britons looked at these new arrivals in disgust. Loads thought the newcomers were stealing their jobs, as these people would work for a lesser price. These jobs were available; many British workers had been killed in the world wars. Also, there was a housing issue: many houses had been bombed in the world wars. The fact that many white landlords wouldn’t rent a single room to the black population didn’t help the problem.

By Clarizze and Natasha, year 6

Windrush Clips
Audio clips and primary sources

Windrush arrivals
Windrush arrivals

An extract from a letter written by Grace- yr6
(click on the link below to read the full version @ our We Are Proud blog)
Grace- Windrush letter

Dear Family and Friends,

After leaving the aquamarine water of the Carribean Sea, I began the journey of a lifetime. My journey began. Windrush started to move away from the picturesque beaches and the relaxing steel-pan bands and after a short amount of time, my home was just a tiny black dot on the horizon.

Whilst thinking of my beloved family, I wouldn't see for a long time, I clambered imto a bed which didn't feel comftable at all, I wondered how on earth I would get to sleep; but it wasn't just the uncomfy bed that stopped me having my beauty-sleep, it was also the sound of angry seas...

Click below to hear year 6 take on the role of a Windrush passenger expressing the difficulties they faced when arriving in Britain.

*Post any questions related to this interview on the discussion page :)

Try to answer these questions:

Notice the word order within the sentences. The grammar is different at times.
Why do you think this has occured?

How do you think the immigrant felt about being discriminated against due to the colour of his skin?

Created by Kurtis:

zondle - games to support learning